[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Your Grandpa Fought in WHAT War?

Rose Ingram roseingram at shaw.ca
Thu Sep 4 10:58:51 PDT 2003

The following article is reprinted with permission from Ted Pack, which
appeared in the  RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Weekly E-zine.

Ted also has a website at http://www.tedpack.org/begingen.html
with a list of the pages with advice for newcomers to the genealogy game.
This is easy reading with touch of wit.

Rose Ingram

Your Grandpa Fought in WHAT War?
  By Ted Pack   tedpack at thevision.net

Late at night, after a day of giving my clients advice they don't take
and an evening of giving my teens advice they won't even listen to, I
sometimes surf the genealogy bulletin/message boards looking for people
who might be willing to take a bit of well-intentioned counsel.

A surprising number of newcomers assume that telling the world a person
was "my grandfather" pins his birth date down accurately enough to let
other people help them. That isn't always the case. Last night my mother
came to our house for barbecued salmon. Her grandfather, George Waterman
CADY, fought in the Civil War. He was born in 1837, rode with the 10th
Missouri Cavalry (Union) and moved to Kansas after the war. He got off
to a slow start; he married in 1881 at the age of 44. My grandmother
came along in 1892, when he was 55. She gave birth to my mother. Without
giving away details of a living person and a dear woman, let us just say
she gets a discount in some restaurants if she eats dinner before 6 p.m.
She uses the Internet, and, as I said, her grandfather fought in the
Civil War.

At the same table, passing the lemon dill butter, was my son. His de-
tails are private too, but a year or two ago we could get him a discount
by ordering off the "Under 12" menu. He uses the Internet; his grand-
father fought in the Korean War -- 86 years after Appomattox. Quite
a spread.

Ours is a rare family due to my great-grandfather CADY marrying so late,
but consider this -- most people have their children between the ages of
20 and 40. Genealogy buffs on the Internet can be anywhere from say 20
to 70 years old -- just to keep the numbers even. If you are now 20 and
the oldest child of the oldest child, your grandparents could have been
born (20 + 20 + 20) 60 years ago, in 1943. If you are now 70 and the
youngest child of the youngest child, your grandparents could have been
born (70 + 40 + 40) 150 years ago, in 1853.

So, if you are posting a query about your grandfather, please -- give
the rest of us a clue; at least tell us which war he fought in.

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